DETROIT (WWJ) – The National Action Network is gearing up for a fight against police brutality in Natchez, Mississippi.
Debra Pernell-Simmons, a retired Detroit Public Schools teacher, said she was demonstrating on behalf of a female inmate who had complained of mistreatment when she was suddenly tased.
NAN Michigan Chapter President Rev. Charles Williams III said Pernell-Simmons, an NAN leader in Mississippi, was tased by a white police officer while being restrained by two black officers — sending what he says is a disturbing message to the public.
“It says to me that maybe the South hasn’t changed as much as we think it’s changed. But we are going to make sure that we shed some light on this situation,” said Williams.
“And Mississippi may still be burning, but we’re going to bring the water hose, we’re going to bring the fire truck, and we’re going to put this fire out,” he said.
Williams said the NAN is calling for the firing and prosecution of all three officers involved.
“We’re looking for justice in this situation,” he said.
NAN will hold two events this Saturday — a rally in Natchez, and an organizational meeting at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit.